Tiger Woods Says He's "Not That Far Off From Winning"

Players Championship: Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth prove unable to stop Webb Simpson

Almost two and a half years have passed, but for players like Simpson, it has to feel like an eternity. And he didn't stop with those he considers to be part of his team. He ended the week T19 in strokes gained: putting, and was 14th in strokes gained: around-the-green. Had he done so, the image of a galloping Tiger Woods might have been sufficient to trigger Players Championship capitulation.

Simpson struggled somewhat in playing the 14th through the 16th in one-over.

That's no longer the case.

Confidence-wise, it shows he can hang with the best players in the game.

Charl Schwartzel (67) and reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele (67) tied for second in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Now he is at No. 5 in the key putting statistic.

Simpson's method of putting sees the club go up his left arm to his elbow and he employs the pencil grip to putt with his right hand.

On Sunday, he frequently had to make putts for pars.

As of Sunday, the anchor ban has been in effect for 863 days.

Woods started this year ranked 656th in the world.

The first of these fateful events for Simpson was connecting with veteran caddie Paul Tesori in 2010 after Tesori had been fired by Sean O'Hair.

Instead, he took a drastic measure. "There's no way I would have predicted I would be at this point the beginning of the year". "If I break it, I can't take it with me". I wanted to go conventional, but I just started trying different things and became a lot more open minded.

But it wasn't smooth sailing.

But Simpson's journey to his first victory since 2014 is what made watching him hoist the trophy Sunday so meaningful. He will move from 53rd to 48th in the FedEx Cup standings.

"I think it helped me, a little bit, continue to think about making birdies", he said. And then he found what Simpson calls the "missing link", provided by former Players champion Tim Clark.

Simpson played steady despite all the challenges that came his way. Four-time Major victor McIlroy is going to be one of the all-time greats but he misses cuts like anyone else, which Tiger did not do. I think it's been an emotional week for my mum and sisters and my brother, " Simpson said. "But I got to do some work between now and then, hopefully put together one good event". And look at him now - a top-10 putter on Tour. He was just inside the top 40 when he abandoned his belly putter for good. The three-time European Tour victor spun his approach to the penultimate hole to three feet to move into second and he was joined by Herbert.

However because the clamor grew within the galleries and the golf world drew breath, it wasn't to be. His outlook, always positive, is stronger than ever.

"I don't know, " he said. "I felt like I had control of it today".

Round 2, when the Woods group played before the coverage window, was up just 13 percent from past year but did see a nice Friday evening peak of a million viewers from 5:30-5:45 p.m. I never doubted myself.

"It has been a very long time".

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